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Archive for September, 2011

Now That the FOSS Community Won…


The “where life takes me next” theme often implies a major transition in one’s career. For me, there was never such a transition. No transition was ever sharp and usually there was a lot of overlap in transition, which is actually a good sign of stability and balance.

I have been thinking a great deal about time management recently. As I already spend a lot of time outside the house I find myself struggling to blog unless I do so on a portable keyboard whilst away. Moreover, with work commitments changing all the time it has become clear that even less time than before will be available for blogging. One possible solution is to increase the use of audio, which requires no proofreading and is generally quicker to produce once everything is streamlined. This is likely to be a direction of choice. But here is the other major point.

Android has been gaining a lot of power recently. Android is not a startup, it is part of a massive and well-funded company called Google. In some ways (ignoring DRM and other impediments), Android is the Linux dream come true, to paraphrase Chris DiBona. The question is, need I — as a Linux advocate — bother helping Google when they are perfectly capable of helping themselves? I think not. In some way, I accomplished what I had aimed for over 5 years ago when I became very serious about GNU/Linux advocacy. Now that it has become more mainstream (with hundreds of millions of phones running Linux), I do not feel so necessary. I will definitely continue in my quest, but it is mostly likely that I shall concentrate on patent reform, technology rights (not in the “rights holder”sense), and whatever seems like a high-priority issue at any given time. To work with the exact same goals for 5 consecutive years makes little sense because everything changes all the time. Novell is dead, for example, so how relevant is a call to boycott Novell?

Battling for justice has always been thrilling and the exhilarating experience I’ve had running half a dozen blogs is not a thing of the past. In moderation I shall carry on posting analysis on a daily basis, potentially moving a bit in one direction or another as priorities shift based on contemporary events.

In my eyes, the great thing about blogging is that it can be done at any age, so I might still be blogging (or equivalent) in 50 years from now when I’m in my 70s. Unlike physical exercise, the peak for one’s writing abilities is not in the early 20s; so although I no longer compete and win trophies for the former activity, the latter activity I can do for a long time to come and do quite well, hopefully. I am not a strong believer in academic publishing because it is an ageing medium.

It is worth noting that blogging might not be all that relevant in 10 years. The Web is only about 20 years old and nobody can reliably predict what will come next (if it was predictable, then it would have happened by now). These days the Web is a combination of high authority sites like Facebook, a search engine (mostly Google), and many pages that are blogs, wikis, news sites, etc. To a certain extent video too is making progress and TechBytes is an attempt to keep up with what people favour for information digestion. Originally it was intended to be a bit of an experiment, but as the crowd grew and the audience provided feedback, Tim and I realised we should take it more seriously and recently we started organising the shows a little better. In a month from now the show will turn one. It is an important milestone which demonstrates maturity and adds certainty to the long-term future of the show. This morning I made the following banner for OpenBytes, placing more emphasis on the audio part.

OpenBytes banner

Urban Ride

THIS week is unusually hot for this season, probably breaking new records with about 26 degrees near October. So we all took advantage of the weather and spent more time outdoors. Here are some photos from today (I am still reasonably pale).

Roy Schestowitz in wasteland

Roy Schestowitz in Irk river

TechBytes Episode on Mageia


Direct download as Ogg (3:23:48, 44.1 MB) | High-quality MP3 (75.8 MB) | Low-quality MP3 (23.3 MB)

Summary: Techrights’ Sebastian and Roy talk about GNU/Linux distributions,, and Mageia’s 1-year anniversary

LAST night’s show covers GNU/Linux on the desktop with focus on Mageia. Sebastian joins us from the IRC channels, where he is a regular contributor.

We talk about what Mageia is, its relationship to Mandriva, Sebastian’s experiment moving from Ubuntu to Mageia, and then we play “Klezmer” by La Santa Cecilia. We talk about moving to/from GNOME 3 and Unity, noting Roy’s prior experience with Mandriva. “The Way It Is” by Kristyna Myles is then played and later begins a discussion about Mageia’s GUI and installer, the 1-year anniversary, and group (including something about polls). “Impossibly Beautiful” by Julie Feeney is played and then comes a long discussion about PCLinuxOS, Mandrake, Gaël Duval (and Ulteo), UnityLinux, etc. “I am” by Jones Family Singers closes this long show.

We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

As embedded (HTML5):


TechBytes Episode 60: Patent Reform, Google Plus, and More


Direct download as Ogg (1:44:12, 22.2 MB) | High-quality MP3 (39.6 MB) | Low-quality MP3 (11.9 MB)

Summary: Tim, Roy, and Rusty meet to speak about new subjects, as well as debate general important issues like patent systems and privacy

We start today’s show by discussing Linux/dual-boot systems being hampered by Microsoft’s plans. We talk about other GNU/Linux matters and then play “Lagrimas e vodka” by Sylvia Patricia. Red Hat’s results are then discussed with some enthusiasm and Tim mentions that Statusnet reached version 1.0beta4. “Pajama Party” by Swimming With Dolphins is then played and we mention the patent ‘reform’ among other issues relating to patents, even the Samsung/Android situation. “Go’n Be Gone” by LidoLido is played and then we cover Google antitrust (Google under the US government’s eye) as well as the failure of Windows Phone 7 in competing against Android (sign of things to come for Windows 8). Google+ opens to the public, so Rusty and Tim have a good debate about it, followed by almost no coverage (due to lack of time) of Yahoo and search snatch, as well as US-oriented statistics that deceive the public and make it seem like Microsoft has made real progress. We are hoping to have another episode this week.

We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

As embedded (HTML5):


SCI Fitness Announced

Mike Coogan as Mr. Fitness

After some preparation and discussions among ourselves, we are finally ready to show SCI Fitness to the outside world. Some of the pages are still work in progress, but we are eager to make updates and provide information in the near future, so by all means subscribe to the RSS feed if interested.

Virgin Trains: Worst Customer Care Ever Gives Up

Speeding train

After months explaining my case to Virgin Trains [1, 2] because they made a booking mistake they finally compensated me for their error and also issued compensation in the form of a coupon for all the trouble. It does not make up for all the time wasted, but it does at least prove that I was right all along and justice was served as a matter of principle.

TechBytes Episode 59: Android Victories, MOSAID, and RHEL


Direct download as Ogg (1:45:28, 23.1 MB) | High-quality MP3 (37.7 MB) | Low-quality MP3 (12.1 MB)

Summary: Rusty is back for this latest fun show, which is only the second show ever that had the list of topics prepared before recording

LAST night’s show started not with Linux, for a change. We spoke about Google’s ever-reaching arm of control and why one should care, then we spoke about problems with Facebook and noted that ACS:LAW’s Andrew Crossley will face the SDT on January 16th (2012), having threatened people based on their IP addresses. Tim played “Endsequence” by Obsidian Shell and we then spoke about $199 Android tablets, right before moving on to the track “Deeper Conversation” by Yuna.

As Linux turns 20 it celebrates a win, but gets cracked as well. We speak about this briefly and then mention that the Microsoft-led Nokia is feeding a patent troll, MOSAID, to attack Microsoft rivals like Android. There is a class action lawsuit over Windows Phone 7 privacy, the iPad is losing market share to Linux/Android, and the Amazon Kindle tablet is coming before Christmas, expecting about 5 million sales. We talk about all of these subjects and then play “One More Workout Shawty” by DJ Car Stereo. We speak about how Wikileaks’ Cablegate reveals diplomats batting for Microsoft and defaming Linux, then we speak about Red Hat’s RHEL 7 ideas being crowdsourced as well as some other distributions like the new Dream Studio, Ubuntu’s approach with the release of a new beta, and more. The show closes with “Mi Compadre Bernabe” by Cerronato.

We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

As embedded (HTML5):


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